About

Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m Val Nolan, an Irishman currently living and working in Aberystwyth in Wales.

I am a writer…

…My fiction has been published in InterzoneElectric Velocipede, Australia’s Cosmos magazine, the ‘Futures’ page of the science journal Nature, The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy (Volume 8) as well as the Year’s Best Science Fiction (Volume 31). Other writing has appeared in The Daily Telegraph (first place in the Telegraph/OxTravels writing contest 2011), the Irish Times (flash fiction series), the RTÉ Guide (first place in the Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition 2011) and in publications such as The Stinging Fly, Southword, Crannóg, Fusion, ROPES, and Revival. My story ‘The Irish Astronaut’ was shortlisted for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award (2014) and I was awarded a 2012 Arts Council bursary in support of my fiction.

I am also an academic…

…I studied History and Geography at University College Cork (concentrating on modern Irish history and demographic change) and in 2003 I moved to the Department of English at National University of Ireland, Galway, where I earned an MA degree and later a PhD in representations of history in contemporary Irish literature. In 2009, I received a scholarship to attend the Clarion Writers’ Workshop at University of California, San Diego, where I studied Creative Writing Theory and Practice.

Currently I am a lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University where I deliver lectures, seminars, and writing workshops to all undergraduate years, as well as supervising postgraduate creative practice students. Courses taught included Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, Writing and Place, and contributions to team-taught modules such as Textual Interventions, Learning from the Novelists, and the long-form final-year Writing Project. I previously taught for almost ten years at NUI Galway where I was responsible for the development and assessment of many courses, including lectures and seminars on 20th century and contemporary Irish writing, Anglo-American literature, and a variety of writing and research workshops, as well as Adult Ed. modules ranging from introductory courses on English literature to classes on study skills to themed courses such as Irish Historical Fiction, the 20th Century Short Story, and Approaches to James Joyce’s Ulysses. I also delivered  the MA module ‘Writing in the Digital Age’ at NUIG’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media, a course which explored how digitization has influenced writing and research in practice and in theory.

Academic articles I have written (including the definite account of the John McGahern banning) have been published in journals such as Irish Studies Review, Review of Contemporary Fiction, ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, and Nordic Irish Studies. I have contributed to books such as Godly Heretics: Essays on Alternative Christianity in Literature and Popular Culture (McFarland, 2013) and The Multiple Worlds of Fringe: Essays on the J.J. Abrams Science Fiction Series  (McFarland, 2014). I am currently pursuing publication for my monograph on the novels and short stories of filmmaker Neil Jordan, provisionally titled Neil Jordan: Fiction’s Loss.

Finally, I am a critic…

…I have long been active in the public discussion of new writing by contributing criticism, articles, and interviews to publications including national newspapers like the Irish Examiner, and the Sunday Business Post, as well as previously to journals such as Poetry Ireland Review, Magill, The Stinging Fly, Southword, The Chattahoochee Review, The John McGahern Yearbook, and others. I work mainly in the area of contemporary fiction.

This blog so…

…is a happily schizophrenic undertaking. I have no set theme or narrowly defined topic and instead range freely across the subjects which interest me. Often I archive books reviews and articles I have written for newspapers or journals, while at other times I broaden the discussion to TV shows, comic books, convention reports, or academic issues. Naturally, all views are my own.

Feel free to contact me via email at pvn@aber.ac.uk or please follow me on Twitter.

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